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AEP clients jolted with illegal charges

American Electric Power is giving customers $78 million in credits for unlawful charges by the company. The charges were rendered illegal by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio on Oct. 3.

A repayment plan devised by the PUCO allows customers to save on future bills. The amount of money owed to each customer will be credited to future bills.

The amount refunded will depend on the amount owed to each customer. An explanation of the repayment will come with customer’s next bill and the repayment will span a few months.

The case was brought to the Ohio Supreme Court, after some charges were deemed illegal by the PUCO.

The Supreme Court allowed the PUCO to come up with a plan to fix the charges.

The illegal charge includes “the provider of last resort” charge.

The POLR charge is supposed to cover the investment that AEP has to make to ensure that all customers have enough electricity at all times.

Jeff Rennie, an AEP media contact, said the charges will be refunded from June 2011 until the date mandated by the PUCO.

“The charges from dates before June 2011 cannot be refunded because the PUCO doesn’t have jurisdiction over the situation before that date,” he said.

The POLR charge for a typical customer using 1000 kilowatts of power a month is $5.70 a month, according to Rennie.

Josh Boyer, fourth-year in microbiology, said he is happy about having to pay less money and thinks the AEP plan to refund the money is a good one.

“Giving credit to bills is a fair way to give the money back,” Boyer said. “I can’t think of a better way myself.”

Andrea Mueller, a fourth-year in strategic communications and German, said she thought the extra charges were unfair.

“It’s unfair to add extra charges,” Mueller said. “Especially for college students who aren’t going to scrutinize the details of their bills.”

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